The latest sports news:
- Senators-Kraken postponed after Ottawa places 3 players, assistant coach in COVID protocol
- Leafs’ Matthews, assistant test positive for COVID-19
- Panthers add 2 players, coach to NHL protocol
- American skier Shiffrin set to return, others to miss Tuesday’s World Cup race
- Positive COVID cases hamper return for German soccer clubs
The NHL has postponed the Ottawa Senators game against the Seattle Kraken on Jan. 6 due to ‘COVID-related issues’ affecting the team, the league announced on Monday.
The Senators had placed defenceman Thomas Chabot, forwards Zach Sanford and Chris Tierney and assistant coach Bob Jones in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol earlier Monday.
Ottawa now has nine players in the protocol. Chabot, Tierney and Sanford join goaltender Anton Forsberg, forwards Josh Norris, Tyler Ennis and Nick Paul and defencemen Dillon Heatherington and Jacob Bernard-Docker.
This is the second significant outbreak of COVID-19 on the Senators this season. The team had three of its games postponed in November after 10 players entered the league’s COVID-19 protocol.
SCHEDULE UPDATE: <a href=”https://twitter.com/NHL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@NHL</a> postpones <a href=”https://twitter.com/Senators?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@Senators</a> at <a href=”https://twitter.com/SeattleKraken?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@SeattleKraken</a> game on Jan. 6. <a href=”https://t.co/Awrp0yD4RJ”>https://t.co/Awrp0yD4RJ</a> <a href=”https://t.co/N7mc5YbOCx”>pic.twitter.com/N7mc5YbOCx</a>
The Senators recalled defenceman Michael Del Zotto and forward Scott Sabourin from the American Hockey League’s Belleville Senators. Del Zotto was added to Ottawa’s roster while Sabourin was assigned to its taxi squad.
“There was a lot of pace, forechecking … the guys gave everything out there today [at practice]. They worked hard.” <br><br>More from <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Sens?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Sens</a> head coach D.J. Smith after this morning’s practice <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoSensGo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#GoSensGo</a> <a href=”https://t.co/oDRaPNkIlh”>pic.twitter.com/oDRaPNkIlh</a>
The Senators were scheduled to host Minnesota on Monday, but that was one of several Canadian-based games postponed by the NHL due to arena capacity limits in Canada.
The Senators’ last game was a 6-0 defeat at Toronto on Saturday. They are next scheduled to face the Canucks in Vancouver on Jan. 8.
Leafs’ Matthews, assistant test positive for COVID-19
Toronto Maple Leafs star centre Auston Matthews was held out of Monday’s practice after testing positive for COVID-19.
Head coach Sheldon Keefe said Matthews and assistant coach Dean Chynoweth, who also wasn’t part of the on-ice session, produced positive results from their rapid antigen tests after arriving at the team’s facility in the morning.
Keefe, who said both were asymptomatic, added the Leafs will now await PCR test results expected early Tuesday.
The club initially called the absences “precautionary” on Twitter, but did not provide further details.
“There have been some instances where those rapid [test] positives have been false,” Keefe said on a post-practice video conference call with reporters. “That’s why at this point it was just precautionary.
Toronto has been working through a COVID-19 outbreak that saw 14 players and seven staff members placed in the NHL’s coronavirus protocol at its height. Leafs defenceman Timothy Liljegren, who returned to practice Monday, was the only player still in isolation when Toronto beat the visiting Ottawa Senators 6-0 on Saturday.
Matthews is coming off an outstanding December that saw him named the NHL’s first star of the month after putting up 10 goals and four assists in seven games.
The 24-year-old tested positive for COVID-19 in June 2020 at home in Arizona while the 2019-20 season was suspended due to the pandemic.
The Leafs are set to host the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday. Toronto’s home game scheduled for Monday against the Carolina Hurricanes was one of a number of contests postponed by the NHL due to arena capacity restrictions in Canada.
Panthers add 3 to protocol, Stars get 10 players back
Florida Panthers forwards Sam Reinhart and Mason Marchment and assistant coach Tuomo Ruutu entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol on Monday.
All three are unavailable for Tuesday’s game against the visiting Calgary Flames.
Meanwhile, the Dallas Stars removed 10 players and two support staff members from the COVID-19 protocol Monday.
Captain Jamie Benn is the only player still on the list for the Stars, who have not played since Dec. 20 due to the outbreak-related postponement of their last six games.
Dallas is scheduled to return to the ice at home Thursday against the Florida Panthers.
The players cleared to return Monday were Radek Faksa, Luke Glendening, Jani Hakanpaa, Miro Heiskanen, Roope Hintz, Joel Kiviranta, Esa Lindell, Michael Raffl, Jason Robertson and Ryan Suter.
Shiffrin set to return following positive COVID-19 test
Mikaela Shiffrin is set to return to the women’s World Cup at a slalom on Tuesday, eight days after she announced she tested positive for COVID-19 and was forced out of two technical races in Austria last week.
Shiffrin had a negative test on Monday afternoon before the American’s name appeared on the official start list for the race released by the International Ski Federation.
However, Shiffrin’s American teammate, Nina O’Brien, is among a group of racers missing Tuesday’s race as the coronavirus is increasingly affecting the women’s circuit, less than five weeks before the Beijing Olympics.
The group sidelined for Tuesday’s race also includes at least three Swiss skiers — Camille Rast, Aline Danioth and Melanie Meillard — as well as two Austrians, a Norwegian, and an Italian.
One of the Austrians, Franziska Gritsch, said in November it was her “personal decision” not to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. She was not allowed to travel to the Nov. 27-28 tech races in Killington, Vermont, for that reason.
Shiffrin missed a giant slalom and a slalom in Lienz last week but remained in the lead of the overall World Cup standings, 93 points ahead of Sofia Goggia. The Italian speed specialist, who has not competed in slalom for five years, is absent in Croatia.
No spectators will be allowed at the race on the outskirts of the Croatian capital, which usually is among the best-visited races on the women’s calendar.
COVID-19 hampers German soccer clubs’ return
German clubs’ preparations for the Bundesliga’s resumption after the winter break are being hampered by coronavirus infections.
Defending champion Bayern Munich is among those worst affected, with Monday’s training session put back until the late afternoon so players and coaching staff can be tested upon their return.
The team’s return was already delayed by a day after the Bavarian club reported five COVID-19 infections — captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, players Kingsley Coman, Corentin Tolisso and Omar Richards, as well as assistant coach Dino Toppmöller, all tested positive.
Gladbach is also affected after reporting four positive coronavirus infections — Joe Scally, Mamadou Doucoure, Denis Zakaria and Keanan Bennetts are all in quarantine.
“All four players are doing well,” Gladbach said.
Of the Bundesliga’s 18 clubs, 13 have reported coronavirus infections.
Stuttgart has four players in isolation ahead of its visit to last-place Greuther Furth on Saturday, with Silas Katompa Mvumpa, Naouirou Ahamada, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Mateo Klimowicz all affected.
Borussia Dortmund will likely have to do without the infected Dan-Axel Zagadou for its game at Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday. Frankfurt has two players in quarantine with COVID-19.
Both Berlin clubs are also affected by positive test results. Hertha Berlin new signing Fredrik André Bjørkan is among its players in quarantine.